7/7 in #Adelanto: Vigil at Adelanto Detention Center to Launch #DefundDetention Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
- Christina Fialho, CIVIC, CFialho@endisolation.org | 3852124842
- Victoria Mena, Defund Detention Campaign Coordinator, VMena@endisolation.org | 3525621386
- Luis Nolasco, Justice For Immigrants Coalition Organizer | Nolascoluisf@gmail.com | 9097237409
Vigil to STOP Expansion and Support Migrant Children Adelanto
Community members, advocates, formerly detained immigrants and families devastated by our nation’s immigration laws come together to launch a campaign to Defund Detention, and call for a STOP to the Adelanto expansion. Our communities need healing, not more detention!
Please join the vigil at the Adelanto Detention Center (10400 Rancho Rd, Adelanto, CA 92301) on Monday, July 7, 2014, from 12:30-2:00pm. The vigil will be held while U.S. Representative Judy Chu tours the Adelanto Detention Center. Following her tour, Representative Chu will join the community to report on her experiences inside the facility.
The Defund Detention Campaign is a response to the continued investment in immigrant detention, specifically the proposed expansion of the Adelanto Detention Center. The Adelanto Detention Center already has the capacity to hold 1,300 immigrant men in detention each day. The proposed 640 additional beds will make the Adelanto Detention Center the largest immigration detention center in the country, with 1,940 beds and will then include a women’s housing unit.
“Our archaic system continues to hold onto an arbitrary Congressionally mandated quota that requires 34,000 immigrants to be held in detention each day. Mandatory immigration detention has funneled taxpayer money into private prisons and stretched government resources to the point of failure,” says Victoria Mena, a resident of the desert and the Defund Detention Campaign Coordinator.
Funding an expansion of this facility is irresponsible, especially as tens of thousands of children flood the southern border, escaping extreme abuse, poverty and violence. “Resources should go to help the children seeking asylum, not to grow private prisons,” says Luis Nolasco, organizer with the Justice For Immigrants Coalition, who will be collecting donations for migrant children who just arrived to the Inland Empire. The Adelanto Detention Center is run by GEO Group, a publicly traded corporation that, according to research by Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) receives more taxpayer dollars for immigrant detention than any other entity. Yet, GEO Group and the Adelanto Detention Center have been the subject of countless abuse and neglect allegations, including the death of Mr. Fernando Dominguez while in ICE custody in 2012.
Advocates have documented allegations that include inadequate health care, arbitrary and overuse of solitary confinement, lack of sufficient nutrients and maggots in the food. Detained immigrants have also reported harassment by GEO staff and intimidation by ICE officers. These allegations of abuse and mistreatment have placed the Adelanto Detention Center on Detention Watch Network’s list of the worst detention facilities in the country.
“It’s a grave injustice that our government and our President promote this extreme form of isolation and violence. The people should not be forced to fund its expansion,” says Christina Fialho, a California attorney and the cofounder/executive director of CIVIC.
The time to act is now! Expanding Adelanto is unacceptable!
****The Vigil will also serve as a collection point for food and toiletry donations to support community efforts caring for migrant children and families new to the Inland Empire. The most needed items are: Baby formula, baby food, diapers, canned food, nonperishable food, and personal toiletries *****